‘Too many restrictions could not be thrown in the way of divorce’: Attitudes to Women’s Petitions for Divorce by Act of Parliament 1801-1831

Ahead of next Tuesday’s Virtual IHR Parliaments, Politics and People seminar, we hear from Dr Alison Daniell of the University of Southampton. On 21 June 2022, between 5.15 p.m. and 6.30 p.m., Alison will be responding to your questions about her pre-circulated paper on divorce by Act of Parliament in the early nineteenth century. Alison’s full-length paper is available here. Details of how to join the discussion are available here. Before the 1857 … Continue reading ‘Too many restrictions could not be thrown in the way of divorce’: Attitudes to Women’s Petitions for Divorce by Act of Parliament 1801-1831

Queen Victoria and parliamentary ceremony

During her record-breaking 70 years of service, Queen Elizabeth II has become no stranger to parliamentary traditions like the State Opening of Parliament, and next weekend her milestone as the first British Monarch to celebrate a Platinum Jubilee will be celebrated with four days of festivities. But Her Majesty the Queen’s predecessor as a female monarch, Queen Victoria, also witnessed many ceremonies during her own … Continue reading Queen Victoria and parliamentary ceremony

Lady Frances Balfour:  A Woman in Parliament before Enfranchisement

Ahead of next Tuesday’s Virtual IHR Parliaments, Politics and People seminar, we hear from Professor Susan Pedersen of Columbia University. On 24 May 2022, between 5.15 p.m. and 6.30 p.m., Susan will be presenting a paper on Lady Frances Balfour and responding to questions. Details of how to sign up for the Zoom seminar are available here. When we tell the dramatic story of women’s long campaign … Continue reading Lady Frances Balfour:  A Woman in Parliament before Enfranchisement

Women Speakers and Deputy Speakers

As we have seen in some of our previous blogs, the role of Speaker of the House has a long history, but it wasn’t until the late 20th century that women took to the Speaker’s Chair. Through the History of Parliament Oral History Project we have been able to interview some of the female former MPs who occupied the roles of Speaker and Deputy Speaker, … Continue reading Women Speakers and Deputy Speakers

Female Dukes

In the latest post for the Georgian Lords, Dr Stuart Handley considers the cases of peerages held by women in the 18th century, and the way in which they were able to exercise political influence even though denied a seat in Parliament. In a note on page 4 of his biography of Winston Churchill, published in 2001, Roy Jenkins allows himself a somewhat waspish comment … Continue reading Female Dukes

‘Housewives in the House’: Labour Women MPs in Parliament, 1945-1951

Ahead of next Tuesday’s Virtual IHR Parliaments, Politics and People seminar, we hear from Dr Lyndsey Jenkins of Queen Mary, University of London. On 23 November 2021, between 5.15 p.m. and 6.30 p.m., she will be responding to your questions about her pre-circulated paper on ‘Housewives and the House: Women Labour MPs and ‘the housewife’ in Parliament in the 1940s and 1950s’. Details of how to join the discussion are available here, … Continue reading ‘Housewives in the House’: Labour Women MPs in Parliament, 1945-1951

‘The doubly-noble prisoner’: The trial of Elizabeth Chudleigh, countess of Bristol, or duchess of Kingston?

The year 1776 is usually associated with the worsening crisis in the American colonies. Yet for one week in April the House of Lords, and the British public, turned their attention to Westminster Hall to concentrate on the sensational trial for bigamy of Elizabeth Chudleigh, the self-styled ‘duchess of Kingston’. Dr Charles Littleton examines the background to the sensational case. In 1743, at the age … Continue reading ‘The doubly-noble prisoner’: The trial of Elizabeth Chudleigh, countess of Bristol, or duchess of Kingston?

Early women MPs: Margaret Wintringham and Parliament

In September 1921, Margaret Wintringham (1879-1955) was elected to the House of Commons as the first ever Liberal woman MP.  Dr Mari Takayanagi, Senior Archivist at the Parliamentary Archives, discusses Wintringham, her election, and the issues she supported in Parliament. Margaret Wintringham was born in Keighley, Yorkshire in 1879. She was a teacher by background, and headmistress at a school in Grimsby before marrying Tom Wintringham, a timber merchant, in 1903.   Wintringham was a suffragist, a non-militant supporter … Continue reading Early women MPs: Margaret Wintringham and Parliament

‘Decided on by men’: International Women’s Day lecture

On 17 March Dr Emma Peplow and Dr Priscila Pivatto gave the Speaker’s Advisory Committee on Works of Art’s 8th annual International Woman’s Day lecture. Created by the committee to help address the need for more artwork of female MPs in Parliament’s collection, Emma and Priscila discussed women’s experiences in Parliament based on interviews in our Oral History Project. Here Dr Peplow reflects on the … Continue reading ‘Decided on by men’: International Women’s Day lecture

Elizabeth I, the ‘estate of marriage’, and the 1559 Parliament

To mark Women’s History Month, Dr Paul Hunneyball, assistant editor of our Lords 1558-1603 section, recalls the first public statement by the ‘Virgin Queen’ that she had no plans to marry, and the incomprehension with which her (male) subjects reacted… The first Parliament summoned by Elizabeth I opened on 25 January 1559 with a packed agenda. Urgent business in the opening days included a new … Continue reading Elizabeth I, the ‘estate of marriage’, and the 1559 Parliament